Resident doctors in Maharashtra call off stir; resume duties

Bombay High Court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur had yesterday said, "If you (doctors) do not want to work, then resign".

Even as 4,500 resident doctors in Maharashtra have not indicated yet if they are going to end their strike anytime soon, 40,000 medical practitioners associated with the Indian Medical Association on Friday afternoon ended their strike after state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assured them of security at their workplaces.

The High Court had yesterday directed the resident doctors to resume work immediately.

The five day strike has almost crippled services at government hospitals across the state, prompting Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to warn of legal action against striking doctors. "These are our demands and we are not asking for the moon, still the state is not addressing it on priority", he said.

As per the court orders, the doctors are expected to resume normal duties by 8 a.m. on Saturday in all government hospitals in the state.

"The ongoing doctors agitation has caused lot of inconvenience to the people, especially poor patients, who are being deprived of medical care", he said in the state legislature.

"FIR regarding assault on doctors on duty is to be lodged strictly under the Doctor's Protection Act 2010 and by the institute".

The court said it was not just attacks, but their working condition which was the doctors' grievance too.

Hundreds of doctors went on strike in New Delhi as well, many wearing helmets to call attention to the violent attacks.

The functioning of the OPDs and general wards in the government and the civic hospitals remains affected due to the strike.

Resident doctors in Maharashtra are yet to resume work despite an appeal by an association representing them to join duty and intervention of the Bombay High Court.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), which has around 2.7 lakh members across the country, has also supported the strike.

"The action (mass causal leave) was taken in view assaults on doctors and also to show solidarity to our colleagues in Maharashtra who have been threatened with salary cuts for not joining duty", said Dr Solanki.

He also said that government has promised free legal and medical aid to doctors in case of an attack and they will be treated as government servants. Later, the hospital administration called the police and the patient's mother was taken into custody, he said. Advocate General Rohit Deo informed the court that the Devendra Fadnavis-led government had made a decision to deploy more than 1,000 armed guards at civic and government hospitals across the state.

  • Joanne Flowers